How to Get the Most Out of Your Virtual Internship

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

1. Reflect on what you don’t like, just as much as what you do like

The true purpose of an internship is to learn about yourself, your values, and your potential career path. Based on personal experience, it is fairly easy to discover tasks or roles that you don’t enjoy. The hard part is finding things you like. It’s really a numbers game- the jobs that excite you or inspire you are going to be rare. So, the more you learn about what you don’t like– the closer you are to finding out what you do like. If you have been tasked on a tedious or uninteresting project, make sure to note down what you disliked about it. This exercise will help you narrow your search for future job opportunities or career paths.

2. Build your network

Yes yes, I know everyone says it, but that’s because it is super important!

3. Write a blog or keep a journal

When I found out one of my internship deliverables was a weekly blog to document my progress, I was less than thrilled. However, this was one of the single best things about my internship. By being tasked to reflect on what my team and I accomplished on a weekly basis, I recognized what I have been learning along the way.

4. Have the courage to ask (for anything)

Virtual internships are new to both interns and companies so there is no right way to do it yet. However, if your friend had a great virtual team-building event at her company, learn what made it fun and recommend it to your manager or program lead. Making suggestions is not easy, but if you feel like you are missing something from your experience, it is always worth asking for it. As long as you are respectful and frame it as a suggestion, the worst outcome is getting a “no.” This is especially true for networking events. Are there other interns at the company working on separate projects, but you don’t have the opportunity to interact much? Ask your lead if it would be possible to set up a meeting where the interns can demonstrate their projects. This is pretty low maintenance, can be done at any scale, and will definitely help with networking. If there is a particular project that interests you, reach out to that intern or team and ask them more about it! This follow up is important to networking and makes events (and your internship) all the more worthwhile.

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Sonali Loomba

Sonali Loomba

Software Engineer and Aspiring Product Manager | Berkeley, 2022